Xi Jinping Says that Islam in China "Must be Chinese in Orientation"

President of the People's Republic of China, Xi Jinping, visited the northwestern region of Xinjiang this week. Xi Jinping and the Chinese government are globally accused of oppressing the Muslim ethnic minorities of Uyghur, Kazakh, and others in the region. The anti-minority policies have received harsh criticism from the United States and many European nations.

Xi emphasized that the execution of his Communist Party's advance in the region focused on social stability and long-term security as its most important goals.

Following the direction of Xi, the authorities have orchestrated a mass crackdown on Xinjiang's Uyghur and Kazakh communities after an outbreak of deadly separatist violence. While an exact number has not been published, analysts say the number of detained is likely to be a million or more.

Currently, the Uyghurs are subjected to strong repression by the Chinese government. The Xinjiang region is highly militarized, and the population is subjected to one of the most restrictive levels of surveillance on the planet.

Taking biometric data and using facial recognition software are just some of the control measures used in the area by the Chinese authorities. At any "suspicious" sign such as having a beard, making prayers, communicating with relatives abroad, or engaging in unauthorized online activities such as using WhatsApp, Uyghurs are subjected to a state-orchestrated re-education process.

The tension between the Chinese government and the Uyghurs intensified after the wave of attacks in China between 2013 and 2014. Although no group claimed responsibility, the Chinese government blamed them on Uyghur separatists and vowed to crack down on Islamic radicalism. which is precisely the argument used by the Chinese authorities to justify re-education and cultural assimilation programs.

Human rights groups have estimated that China has detained more than a million Uyghurs against their will in recent years in a vast network of what the state calls "re-education camps" and sentenced hundreds of thousands to prison terms.

About 12 million Uyghurs, mostly Muslims, live in Xinjiang, officially known as the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR).

Making up less than half of Xinjiang's total population, the Uyghurs speak their language, similar to Turkish. They consider themselves culturally and ethnically close to the nations of Central Asia.

In recent decades there has been a massive migration of Han Chinese (China's ethnic majority) to Xinjiang, a move allegedly orchestrated by the state to dilute the minority population.

The Xi Jinping government has also been accused of targeting Muslim religious figures, banning religious practices in the region, and destroying many of their sacred mosques and tombs.

"The #Muslim world remains mostly silent as the #Chinese regime places #Uyghurs under tight surveillance, enslaves them to work in factories & fields, destroys mosques, steps up birth control measures for #Uyghur women & places children in boarding schools." tweeted Rushan Abbas, an activist who promotes the human rights and democratic freedom for Uyghurs in China.

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